Mousesports vs Fnatic
Game 1 - Game 2 - Game 3 - Game 4 - Game 5
After Fnatic's earlier defeat against Mousesports in the Winner's Bracket Final, they faced eachother again yesterday in the overall final of the European qualifiers for this new and exiting event launched by Beyond The Summit. Fnatic entered these games as the underdog after a defwin against PowerRangers in the Consolidation Final.
PowerRangers were unable to attend this match as they were playing in the Moscow Cup, and unfortunate schedulig provides Fnatic with a second life and another shot at reaching the LAN stage in LA.
Game 1 : Zombies and shifts of momentum set the tone
Both teams went for aggressive trilanes which marked their wish to fight. First blood went the way of Mousesports after only one minute when they dove the tier 1 tower to collect a kill on the solo Venomancer on Dire's safelane. They did end up trading Weaver's life, but with noone in range to collect the experience, still a favourable trade for Mousesports.
After 5 minutes had passed, Fnatic started to rotate and their first act was a gank on Dragon Knight in middle. Due to his tanky nature and his teammates' help, he didn't only survive, but he brings down Fnatic's supports himself, leading to a 3-0 exchange in favour of Mousesports.
FATA and his potent dragon barely survived
The main problem for Fnatic seemed to be Ravage, as another big fight around Roshan's pit a few minutes later lead to yet another win for Mousesports, who were in a comfortable position after 10 minutes with a score of 11 to 5.
For the next 5 minutes, Fnatic started to recover some of their earlier losses when they caught FATA out of position twice. With the next big fight approaching soon, Fnatic were in the driver's seat as FATA had already spent his buyback in an act of madness after he got dropped a second time while he was off on his own to push out the bottom lane.
The appearance of Undying in these series has not passed without notice as he sets the pace for the next teamfight. Fnatic managed to wreck up 4 kills in exchange for only two casualties in one hell of a fight, where Mousesports' decision to leave the Tombstone alive lead to yet another shift of momentum in this exiting game.
Fnatic exploited this turn of events and they grabbed the opportuniy to catch Mousesports off guard as Puck dove their tier 1 tower top. With a great Dream Coil, he opened the path for his teammates to come and clean house, and with 3 more kills being added to their score, Fnatic took over control for the first time this game, with a 14-16 score after 18 minutes.
During the next 10 minutes, Fnatic tried to take a hold of the game as their pick-off potential started to work in their favour. After taking down another tower, Fnatic took down Roshan for free and started to look for a fight with a second life on their 1-position Mirana. Unfortunately for them, Era got caught far away from his teammates and he lost his Aegis shortly after.
As the game was about to reach critical proportions, a brief pause comes out on the side of Mousesports, after they lost another casualty with Wisp, as he was forced to give up his life after he saved one of his teammates with Relocate.
Whether or not due to latency or tactical planning, Mousesports had claimed momentum once more when the next teamfight went heavily in their favour. Three members of Fnatic got wiped off the map with the fresh Desolator on Pajkatt cutting through the Tombstone and Fnatic's Black King Bars.
Now that the road was clear, Mousesports pushed down the last two towers on the toplane, opening up the barracks and bringing the score almost back on par with 21-22 on the board. The next few minutes you could almost feel the tension rising, as both teams were looking for that one opening they could use to bring this game to an end.
Like in many other situations, it all came down to a fight over Roshan. First there was a moment of dancing as Fnatic apparantly could not decide between fighting and claiming the Aegis, leading to a free tier 2 tower mid for Mousesports, 36 minutes into the game.
The last fight was comming near and it bursted out only 3 minutes later. As foretold, Roshan played his part in the deciding teamfight of this game, where Fnatic got cleaned up after a great Relocate messed up their attempt to grab the Aegis.
After an incredible first game, Fnatic had no choice but to let this one go when Mousesports abandoned a free Roshan with the cores of Fnatic being down to start chipping away at the Dire's base.
Game 2 : Razor strikes once
In the second game, Fnatic switched their draft up with a Nature's Prophet, Enigma and Razor to play some objective gaming, and to counter up the Dragon Knight mid with that Razor on H4nn1 to ensure he would win his lane and DK would have a hard time. Mousesports opted for a mixed setup that opened up possibilities for pick-offs with Batrider. The Dragon Knight was handled by FATA again, who provided some pushing power, aided by a Dazzle to sustain his push.
As soon as everyone was in the game, both teams headed towards the Radiant jungle and traded kills before the creeps had even spawned. With Fnatic utilising the Disruption-Sacred Arrow combination, they took down Batrider twice (!) but gave up 2 kills in the process. With every detail added up, Mousesports had a tiny advantage as they grabbed the first blood.
However, once the laning stage had started, Fnatic took a hold of the game because Mousesports' carry Luna, who suffered some deaths and was quite underfarmed, lost some of her potential in teamfights and other skirmishes. When their aggressive trilane stayed in Dire's offlane after the big fight at level 1, Luna could not get a hold of the farm she needed.
The midlane didn't go exactly as Fnatic had planned, but H4nn1 made the best of his farm and managed to counter out the Dragon Knight's effect in teamfights with Static Link. When Fnatic smoked up to assault Luna once more and maybe even take down the tower, Mousesports reacted to the engagement.
At first, it seemed they would take this fight as Nature's Prophet got caught by a Dragon's Tail, but once Mekanism arrived on Enigma for Fnatic, they fought back and traded their Prophet and Shadow Demon for two cores of Mousesports.
But Fnatic weren't done yet as they dove the tier 2 on toplane while they hadn't even taken the tier 1 yet. Hungry for more kills, they grabbed the 3 remaining members of Mousesports while they tried to retreat, granting them two free towers afterwards. This all happened before we reached the 12-minute mark in this game, and Fnatic had the upper hand with 8-5 on the board.
In the next 10 minutes, Fnatic took down all outer towers but suffered quite some casualties in the process. After diving to deep into the enemy lines, a few players from Fnatic got caught while trying to retreat. They needed something extra to try and break the base.
With 22 minutes on the clock, Fnatic brought down Roshan and handed the Aegis to Razor. In the next battle, Mousesports were able to trigger it, but they failed at capitalising afterwards, as Fnatic managed to sneak out and stay out of range of Mousesports' engagement.
After another 12 minutes of struggling, Fnatic grabbed Roshan once again and when FATA got caught by an arrow close to the pit, the whole crew of Fnatic collapsed on him. Without the Dragon Knight to help them defend, Mousesports couldn't defend their base and were forced upon their first defeat against Fnatic in this tournament after taking them down 3 times in a row.
Game 3 : Track and global control
With a ticket to the finals on the line, Mousesports grabbed themselves Invoker Ancient Apparation and Bounty Hunter, quite a sick combination if you can exploit the global pressure and execute the combination perfectly. Fnatic answered this call with a Luna and Templar Assassin, running only two cores against Mousesports' aggressive trilane.
The game started slowly but exploded after 2 minutes with back and forth action for the next 5 minutes. The early stages came close to an end with 6-4 on the board and both teams starting to group up for some good old teamfighting.
At the first opportunity, Mousesports engaged on the complete line-up of Fnatic which lead to a 3-2 exchange around the 15-minute mark, greatly in favour of Mousesports who earned a big amount of their advantage from Track-kills.
An amazing performance from Pajkatt on Bounty Hunter colours the rest of this game. The bonus gold granted to Mousesports by the hunter's Track was too much to handle for Fnatic as Bounty was snowballing out of control. One kill after another and nothing Fnatic could do to stop them, and after they suffered a full teamwipe, they called the "GG" with only 23 minutes on the clock.
Game 4 : Razor unsuccessful on his second strike
Game four brought another round of objective gaming for Fnatic with Keeper of the Light and Phantom Lancer picked up, in conjunction with Nature's Prophet. This time Mousesports grabbed the Razor and they threw in a Juggernaut as well. This was their chance to claim their spot and kick Fnatic out of this tournament.
We didn't get to see another trilane of Mousesports, afraid of running into an Illuminate that could cost them the game very early on, so they decided to leave Dark Seer alone to put some pressure on PL with Ion Shells. First blood hits the deck after 5 minutes when Dark Seer gets punished for his attempt to steal the gold and experience of one of the jungle stacks that Fnatic was preparing for the rat.
MSS wanted that gold so badly
After 10 minutes the teams were still tied up with 5-5 on the board. The intitiation from Razor and Juggernaut allowed Mousesports to stay in the game for now, although Disruptor's Glimpse caused them to give up a few deaths. How long would it take before Phantom Lancer would have enough power to rat this mouse to his death ?
Mousesports had the heavy task to try and defend against the KotL-PL combination that granted Fnatic the power to control the whole map and pick out the objectives they wanted. Mousesports was able to find a few good trades and pick-offs, but they couldn't bring down the momentum of Phantom Lancer, who exploited his illusions, invisibility and his buddy Keeper of the Light to become a monster that would wreck the base of Mousesports without any problem.
FATA and the other members of Mousesports knew they needed to break down Fnatic's base quickly if they wanted to achieve victory against the danger called "rat-dota". In an attempt to break the base they sieged down the tier 3 tower mid, losing Juggernaut after an incredible Omnislash from Pajkatt.
Mousesports didn't succeed in their attempt to close out the game when they still could. In the next few minutes Fnatic started to push out every lane, forcing Mousesports into their "hole". When the next fight came closer, Nature's Prophet ignored the calls for help and continued to push, taking down another tier 3 tower in the botlane after the top tier 3 had already fallen.
Every time Mousesports thought they got the upper hand, Fnatic turned the tables with objective gaming, leading to their second win against Mousesports and bringing them back on par for the last and decisive game.
Game 5 : Necrobooks
With the series tied up at 2:2 Fnatic opted for a full-on push strategy with Pugna, Enigma and Nature's Prophet, while Mousesports responded again with their carry Wraith King supplemented by secondary cores Puck and Axe, alongside teamfighting supports Ancient Apparition and Disruptor.
Perhaps expecting another aggressive trilane, Era on Pugna was sent to farm the Dire offlane, while Trixi on Nature's Prophet was sent to survive his own safelane. This laning decision quickly showed its worth as Mousesports gave away several deaths in the early game. This guaranteed Fnatic an uncontested Roshan and the ability to continue their push to claim victory in the deciding game.
Their global advantage allowed Fnatic to take a commanding lead after knocking down several towers and creating a 10k gold lead by the 15-minute mark. Despite their teamfight-strong lineup, Mousesports struggled to defend their remaining towers, giving away what little map control they had left.
Unfortunately they couldn't pull off a great comeback, with Fnatic spreading out perfectly to take down their desired objectives and they crushed Mousesports with the damage output and global control of H4nn1's Invoker.
After Necronomicons appeared on both Furion and H4nn1's Invoker, the first Radiant rax fell just 22 minutes into the game. Mousesports needed something big to come back, but in the next teamfight they were unable to hold against Fnatic's line-up. N0tail was able to prevent himself from dying with Disruption, so his teammates could come to his aid and they defeated his assassins.
Mousesports tapped out after a devastating last-ditch effort to secure Roshan for the Radiant, punching in Fnatic's ticket to the finals in Los Angeles, where they will face up in a LAN battle against Team DK, Vici Gaming, Na'Vi, Evil Geniuses and North American Rejects.
This article was written by Tom Laeremans, joinDOTA's Writer. Tom finally made his way to Dota last year after two years of "training" in LoL. In his spare time after college, he spends most of his time behind the computer outside his football addiction.Location: Testelt, BelgiumFollow him on @Morantyx.